Thoughts & Theories after Ninjago Seabound’s Finale & What’s Next?

23 May

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Spoiler Alert

The finale to Ninjago: Seabound is not at an end. It’s merely a huge part two and there are still threads to tie up. “Nyad” and “Turn of the Tide” make up the finale and it’s a tearjerker. Nya is fighting Kalmaar mono a mono, and elsewhere, Jay’s combat vehicle gets damaged. He may well drown if he’s not rescued soon. Sadly, by the time help arrives, he slips into a coma. Nya can’t bear to see him this way and realizes sacrifices must be made for some good to happen.

The Water Ninja learns how the tale of Nyad ends and she’s ready for change. She opens her katras up to accept another entity (or energy) to enter. She’s doing something similar to Jean Grey in Marvel’s X-Men (Uncanny, #101-108) comics by accepting the Phoenix Force. An interesting parallel must be made though. As she rises out of the water, the whirlwind is like Nadakahn’s (the villain from season six) dust tail. However, she is aware of who she is despite what Wu said, “Whatever you’re hearing, whatever you’re experiencing. Fight it, Nya. Remember who you are. Remember.”

There’s no turning back in her metamorphosis. She regains her powers tri-fold and not even a squid can challenge that. The entire episode is a long fight–brothers against brothers, ninjas to a serpent (a familiar theme), and serpent to dragon. Kalmaar is too invested in ending the Ninjago team (especially Nya). I think he has more than simply world conquest in mind. After one crystal is destroyed, the serpentine dissipates.

Some interesting points should be noted. This season ends with a eulogy. But she’s not dead! I believe the energy from the wave crystal Nya shattered also merged with her. Only a few people saw this. Instead of giving false hope, Sensei Wu may have thought holding a funeral is best, but I’m doubtful that’s his intent. People will ask where the female member went, and it’d be tough to say she’s living the life as a true elemental. Because energy has no form, Nya found maintaining this shape as hard as how Qui Gon Jinn from Star Wars had difficulty with becoming a Force Ghost. Very few people can master this technique. They continue to exist as part of a greater whole instead of being gone forever.

If Cole can regain his physical form, then so can Nya. One problem may well be about finding a new body for her, and that can make up a subplot in the next season of the series. It’s doubtful the producers will do something similar to Possession (season 5), but to introduce another realm to explore what life means after death in a happier world is in the cards.

Next season is being worked on. Co-creator Tommy Andreasen said in a Twitter post (another reference here) that the next set of episodes will conclude this current arc. Not much is known beyond what’s been reported, and it’s safe to say some kind of huge “Gathering” is required to unite all the elemental forces in order to deal with the Vengestone buyer. Anyone who holds that much power needs to be caught. As for when fans will get to see it, my guess is that it won’t be until 2022 as production started this month.

9 Responses to “Thoughts & Theories after Ninjago Seabound’s Finale & What’s Next?”

  1. kilmarnock228 2021-05-23 at 7:01 pm #

    I think Wu didn’t really understand exactly what it was Nya had done-understandable, given that only one other being is known to have done it centuries ago. As for Kalmaar, I imagine that his determination to eliminate the Ninja was partly out of pragmatism. He knows Wojira was defeated once, and what happens once can happen again. Sure, this time (some of) the Merlopians were fighting with her, not against her, but there’s also a team of Elemental Masters who have proven to be formidable adversaries.

    Okay, response to the blog done; now get ready for an avalanche of speculation:

    This theory came about after I learned about Nya’s fate at the end of Seabound and considered how it could affect the future of Ninjago. While Nya’s sacrifice was admirable, it’s a distressing development for the franchise from both in and out of universe perspectives. Nya may have saved Jay’s life, but unless her elemental transformation is reversed by some means, she also put an end to their future together. Moreover, unless Nya has a child or passes her powers to a successor as Zane received his powers from the previous Master of Ice, the line of Water Masters will come to an end.

    That second thought made me wonder: how did Nyad’s powers eventually pass to Maya and then to Nya? Well, it occurs to me that Nyad may well have had a family of her own before she joined in the fight against Wojira. If so, her husband may well have perished some time before or even during the battle. It would be an interesting parallel to Nya’s situation: where she merged with the ocean to save the love she dreaded losing, perhaps Nyad did so in memory of the love she’d already lost.

    Anyway, my theory is that at the time Nyad transformed, she had recently become pregnant. Her child or children were kept safe in her new form, and one of them inherited her powers. Knowing that her role had to be filled but having no kin to leave this child with, she delivered them to the mainland. This child, or one of their descendants, would eventually join the Elemental Masters united by the First Spinjitzu Master. By the time of Maya, any sign of their Merlopian ancestry has been bred out of the line and long since forgotten, if it was ever known.

    I have a theory regarding another of Nyad’s children, and it connects to the Merlopians. It seems to me that the term Merlopian isn’t meant to refer to a race so much as a denizen of Merlopia. Based on what we’ve seen, there are at least three types of beings who this has encompassed. There’s the cephalopod variety, like Trimaar and Kalmaar; the eel-like ones, like Gripe and Glutinous; and the very human-like except for breathing both water and air type, like Nyad…and Benthomaar.

    This third variant seems to be rare to the point of near extinction, with Nyad and Benthomaar being the only representatives in their respective time periods unless I missed someone in the background. Combined with the fact that Benthomaar appeared in the depths of the ocean with no signs of how he got there, just in time to be found by Trimaar, and I think there’s a strong possibility that he’s another of Nyad’s children. He would presumably have been kept in a form of stasis for centuries, until Kalmaar began to dream of reviving Wojira. Learning of this, Nyad decides to entrust Benthomaar to Trimaar’s care, counting on her son to either help divert Kalmaar from this course or to help stop him, as he ultimately did.

    Now, at this point you’re probably wondering: how does this relate to Nya and Jay? Well, my hope is that, if the whole “Will you be my yang?” thing from March of the Oni was an engagement, the two of them got married at some point afterwards. Could have happened right after season ten, or as late as after season thirteen. In any event, by the events of The Turn of the Tide the idea is that Nya, like Nyad before her, would be newly pregnant.

    Fast forward a few years, to a time when Ninjago is free of major threats for a prolonged time period-likely after the defeat of the Vengestone buyer if no other enemies. The other Ninja have settled down, and may even be raising kids of their own. Poor Jay is alone and longing for his beloved, and makes regular visits to the coast to look out at the sea. Then one day, his Lightning powers quit working, and everyone is baffled. That is, until Jay visits the shore again and finds a pair of children: his and Nya’s, sheltered in the sea by their mother until the time came for them to go to their father.

    Finding his children gives Jay a new purpose in life, particularly as they’ve inherited his and Nya’s Elemental powers. Of course he’ll be aided in raising them by their various aunts and uncles, both true and honorary. I also like the idea of Jay tracking down his birth parents at some point. It would be fitting for them, along with Ray and Maya, to help raise the grandkids. The one couple would be making up for leaving Jay on the Walkers’ doorstep, while the other would be getting a chance at parenting they were denied when Krux kidnapped them for use as slave labor. And of course, it all comes down to an origin for two members of the next generation of Ninjago’s heroes.

    Of course, Nya’s departure is troubling for the franchise in other ways. She was the longest running and most prominent female character in the theme, and barring possible Legacy set appearances she looks to be gone unless her transformation is somehow reversed. The animated series has characters like P.I.X.A.L., Misako, Skylor on occasion, and Antonia to pick up the slack. But it’s sad to think that we may be bereft of female Minifigures in the Ninjago sets going forward for the first time since 2013.

    Speaking of P.I.X.A.L., I feel kind of bad for her. She literally has a mech code named “Protocol: Kaiju”, yet in nearly every kaiju fight that’s taken place since it’s been introduced in the series it’s been absent. Sure, I get why she and the Mech couldn’t help with Grief-Bringer. But Ninjago City gets attacked by the Empire Dragon and Wojira and she doesn’t bust it out? It seems improbable.

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    • Ed Sum 2021-05-23 at 8:27 pm #

      I’m personally thinking Nya is a descendent of Nyad, many generations removed, and as you said, long since forgotten. The naming of Nya must’ve been intentional in more ways than one, then to be inspired by that legend. With certain characters being long lived, I’m curious about how many years have passed before that legend has been forgotten by the surface dwellers, but still taught in pre-school in Merlopia.

      I’m with you on your thoughts of Bentho possibly being one of Nyad’s children. It’s a terrific idea, as there’s no other humanoid types which have grown up in the sea. I’m still wondering how he got caught in the seaweed anyways, as he couldn’t have simply been abandoned there for King Trimar and young Kalmaar to find.

      As for Jay, season 6 suggested Ciff Gordon was his father. Whether this fact is a red herring or retconned, it’d be an avenue certainly worth pursuing. We never saw him make his inheritance his home, which I always thought was odd. He’d rather stay at the monastery than accept what may be, being rich and all that. Mind you, he’s always loved his foster parents more, and perhaps just don’t see showing off who he may be the real father as important.

      With the future not as clean and no particular hints in how things can be restored, all we can do is wait and speculate. I can see the next season jumping a few years though, but it’s unlikely. The events of Seabound took place immediately after The Island. Jay will no doubt do something stupid to go be with Nya instead of bringing her back.

      I also thought I read somewhere that Tommy tweeted about plans for P.I.X.A.L. To “lose” a character so the series can focus on this mechanoid is sad. There are plans to put her in the spotlight, though I’d be against her hosting Nya’s soul in whatever the series has going forward to keep the gang together.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kilmarnock228 2021-05-25 at 12:14 pm #

        I would swear I already posted a reply to this…

        My guess is that the Merlopians treasured Nyad’s memory a bit more than the surface-dwellers of Ninjago would necessarily have had reason to. For them, she is the great hero who brought peace to the sea-really, she’s the great figure for them, rather than the First Spinjitzu Master. For the surface-dwellers, the First Spinjitzu Master is the one who shaped their world, and so long ago that even many of his deeds have been all but forgotten by the general populace. So far as we know, things below the sea have also been rather less tumultuous, with no indication that they’ve had to deal with wars between their denizens, invaders from other realms (barring a possible Oni attack some time previously), or even shifts in government.

        Speaking of government, and returning to the subject of Benthomaar, I wonder what’s going to happen to Merlopia in the aftermath of Seabound. Bentho is presumably the heir to the throne now, but nobody in Merlopia knows that Kalmaar was a traitor. Given how Gripe and the other Maaray Guards reacted to him during the battle for Ninjago City, it seems unlikely that he would be accepted back. Merlopia may be in a bit of a state of flux at the moment, unless there’s some other individual in a position to take the throne-preferably one who won’t pursue a vendetta against the surface world in Kalmaar’s memory.

        My understanding is that Cliff Gordon is indeed Jay’s biological father, a statement supported by the season seven finale “Lost in Time.” In that episode, the previous Elemental Master of Lightning mentions that she’s due to go on her honeymoon, and that her husband Cliff is an actor. The way I’ve heard it, Cliff perished as a result of one of Jay’s wishes, but this was reversed along with pretty much everything else by his third and final wish. As you say, he seems content with his relationship with the Walkers, and I can’t imagine it would be easy to confront the man who left you to be raised in a junkyard when he owns a mansion and a yacht, among other things. It would be nice to learn what happened to Jay’s mother at some point though.

        Yeah, I don’t think there will be a major timeskip; the issue of the vengstone buyer seems like something that needs to be attended to. I am curious to see how the next season(s) will handle the matter of Nya’s absence, and whether there will be any attempts to return her to human form. I do think that P.I.X.A.L. could have gotten more focus without cutting Nya out. The idea of Nya’s spirit sharing her body is definitely weird, not to mention how awkward it would be for Zane and Jay. Honestly, I’d rather Nya stay as she is than have them try to bring her back in some bizarre fashion.

        Really, of course, I’d have preferred they not write her out in the first place. If any of the Ninja was to be written out of the series, I would have voted for Cole out of respect for Kirby Morrow. I figure he could have had a change of heart and decided to settle in Shintaro, as opposed to Nya’s current situation or dying. The Departed Realm would definitely not be too hospitable for any of the Ninja at present, what with the Great Devourer, Stone Army, Overlord, Nindroids, Clouse’s snake, the Anacondrai Cult, Preeminent, Ghost Warriors, Harumi, the Oni, and now Kalmaar and Wojira presumably inhabiting it, along with who knows who or what else. Here’s hoping the Ninja don’t have to go there anytime soon…or that any of the inhabitants manage to get out.

        Shortly after reading your reply, I actually watched a video from YouTuber TannerFisheries, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w_TZI_g8kk&t=502s&ab_channel=TannerFishiesTannerFishies. In it, he said that Tommy Andreason has gone on record saying that if an Elemental Master dies without passing on their power, it actually won’t disappear but will eventually find a new host. He was referring to the fate of Morro’s power of Wind, but presumably it would include any Elemental power. Could be that Nya is not descended from Nyad after all if that’s the case, but instead the descendant of whoever received Nyad’s power. However, I kind of prefer the idea of Nyad and Nya being connected by blood; plus, I tend not to like it when creators make statements that aren’t confirmed in the series itself.

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      • Ed Sum 2021-05-25 at 1:12 pm #

        Yes, I’m very curious in how Merlopia will clean up the mess left by Kalmarr. To me, it seems only the guards know of his deceit and master plan. If there were any left behind, either they have to bow to the new ruler (and exonerate Bento, maybe) or it’ll be a civil war. When considering there will be novels (graphic?) about Wu and Garmadon’s younger days coming this September, the only way we can know more about this aspect is through these side-story publications.

        Some of the defeated foes may not necessarily be in The Departed Realm, though as for where some of the great evils can go, I doubt the Oni or Wojira exist there. I don’t think all of the realms have been named either… (we only know of 10 if I remember right). Could there be a Negative Zone for greater evils to exist there?

        I can imagine that there’s some kind of Astral Realm which acts like a neutral zone between realms, where anyone can travel through if they have the ability. Yes, it’s AD&Dish, though I can’t help but think that most of the realms are distinguished by the general alignment of the populace. We did have a D&D style episode and I don’t take that insertion lightly. I’d love to see Nya continue in the form she is in and exploring her abilities beyond just the “Water Realm.” It’s easy for her to look into how all the Elements work together and from there, she finds a new threat coming soon towards Ninjago, and she returns to this “Prime Material” plane to warn the team.

        And yes, I agree to your philosophy. Unless a moment is offered in the series (or an official publication), the statements made by a co-creator may not necessarily reflect everyone’s opinion from the writer’s room and make it into the show. Been rewatching the entire series (in short bursts) myself for possible hints in where the next chapter may go, as even the lightest statement made had ramifications in the future. Love the early episodes since Nya whined about not being part of the boys club, and Wu said she will get her time to shine…

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  2. kilmarnock228 2021-05-26 at 1:56 pm #

    It would be interesting, though I half wonder if they won’t address Bentho’s probable absence next season with a throwaway line or something, similar to how Cole talks about Unagami and Dyer in the episode “Shintaro”. I believe the books are going to be chapter books, but with illustrations: https://youtu.be/kVq4PLyXXcs?t=74 Yeah, there’s only been ten realms named so far, always assuming that everything with “Realm” in the name that’s been introduced since the concept was first touched upon is counted as one of the original sixteen/now fourteen. The Departed Realm is a bit of a hazy concept; what little we know of it seems to treat it as sort of an all-purpose afterlife. Basically, if you die in any of the Ninjago realms you go there, or that’s how I’ve interpreted it.

    The one exception used to be folks who ended up in the Cursed Realm, but now the Cursed Realm (the Preeminent) is actually IN the Departed Realm, so it’s a moot point. Anyway, back in Day of the Departed, Cryptor told Zane to greet Dr. Julien once he had been sent to the Departed Realm, which seems to indicate that’s where everyone ends up. A pretty depressing afterlife concept, especially when you consider that at some point most or all of the Ninja will presumably end up there with a number of villains and monsters that they’ve bested over time. Of course, then there was that inexplicable “flower petals and sunshine” space that Lloyd ended up in at the end of March of the Oni and spoke to the First Spinjitzu Master…

    It would be kind of cool if Nya’s new state allowed her to recognize some kind of impending threat and be able to warn the others. Still, it feels like more would have to happen; as of Seabound’s finale she’s barely able to maintain her humanoid form outside of the water, which would make hanging around with the others rather difficult. It is fun to look back on how Nya has evolved over time. It honestly makes Seabound all the more bittersweet, as the season that finally gives her some much-needed attention since she’s been a Ninja is also the season that seems likely to have written her out of the franchise.

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    • Ed Sum 2021-05-26 at 3:04 pm #

      There’s no name given for where Lloyd ended up at that March of the Oni season. For now, I like to call it The Field of Reeds as I suggested in my article.

      As for your idea, I found a Reddit post which may reveal the plans for season 15. The only red flags noted was the posting date and it sounds too similar to March of the Oni. I took a digital snapshot of it on my tablet, and will have to try and find it again when on the computer to bookmark. The best way to know of Nya is around is whether the cast list changes much (with the exception of those who passed).

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      • kilmarnock228 2021-06-06 at 12:58 pm #

        I suppose the presence of a Nya figure in any Season 15 sets would probably be a giveaway too…

        Had an interesting thought with regards to the Nya and Merlopia situations, incidentally. It occurs to me that there is one individual who might be able to restore Nya to normal, though this presumably wouldn’t be her intention (except perhaps to remove Nya as a potential threat). If Aspheera was able to steal Kai’s fire powers back in season eleven, why couldn’t she do the same to Nya? In Nya’s case, she’s so powerful that Aspheera might not be able to take all of her powers, but perhaps enough that Nya would return to human form.

        Aspheera’s motivation for this could potentially be to give her the ability to seize control in the midst of the current Merlopia power vacuum. Even if the Merlopians didn’t want to serve her, it’d be pretty hard to refuse in the face of the power she could potentially wield. It would also be a rather fun nod to how everyone was calling the Maaray Guards “Hydro Vipers” or variations of that, based on the fact that they use the Char/Pyro Whipper head mold.

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      • Ed Sum 2021-06-06 at 5:36 pm #

        Love your idea! Makes sense too, if we are to assume Nya is to become human again.

        I’ve been rewatching the entire series to see who could come back or if any hints were offered as to who the next big nasty would be, but haven’t gotten that far. I’m still thinking we might see a new realm though, where whoever the baddie is will make as headquarters. When considering how often the Vengestone has appeared in the past to nullify the team’s powers, it’s definitely going to be key to the story. A random thought did pop to mind where the writing team could introduce a mirror universe realm (been noting all the Star Wars and Trek references from the early episodes) and someone will try to replace the NInja with fakes. The only way to prevent them from escaping is to keep them in an even larger Vengestone prison that has been secretly built.

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  3. kilmarnock228 2021-06-08 at 12:20 pm #

    Could definitely go for a Ninjago mirror universe story! I’ve always enjoyed the concept, and would love to see it applied to Ninjago…so long as they don’t do anything creepy. A new realm in general could be interesting, and certainly would be an ideal place to detain the Ninja. There are a few logistical problems I could see-why someone from another realm would be against the Ninja or why someone in Ninjago would know about another realm, how they would be able to get a foothold there, and the actual means of traveling between the two when the Realm Crystal is gone and the Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu are presumably in safe custody and no one but Wu seems to use Traveler’s Tea anymore. Still, those issues would presumably be resolved in the course of the season.

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